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Looking for Me [Hardcover]

Beth Hoffman
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
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Book Description

May 28 2013
A Southern novel of family and antiques from the bestselling author of the beloved Saving CeeCee Honeycutt

Beth Hoffman’s bestselling debut, Saving CeeCee Honeycutt, won admirers and acclaim with its heartwarming story and cast of unforgettable characters. Now her unique flair for evocative settings and richly drawn Southern personalities shines in her compelling new novel, Looking for Me.

Teddi Overman found her life’s passion for furniture in a broken-down chair left on the side of the road in rural Kentucky. She learns to turn other people’s castoffs into beautifully restored antiques, and eventually finds a way to open her own shop in Charleston. There, Teddi builds a life for herself as unexpected and quirky as the customers who visit her shop.  Though Teddi is surrounded by remarkable friends and finds love in the most surprising way, nothing can alleviate the haunting uncertainty she’s felt in the years since her brother Josh’s mysterious disappearance. When signs emerge that Josh might still be alive, Teddi is drawn home to Kentucky.  It’s a journey that could help her come to terms with her shattered family—and to find herself at last.  But first she must decide what to let go of and what to keep.

Looking for Me brilliantly melds together themes of family, hope, loss, and a mature once-in-a-lifetime kind of love. The result is a tremendously moving story that is destined to make bestselling author Beth Hoffman a novelist to whom readers will return again and again as they have with Adriana Trigiani, Fannie Flagg, and Joshilyn Jackson.

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Review

Praise for Looking for Me:

"Hoffman's novel of a woman putting the pieces of her family's secrets together combines a deep dramatic impact with Southern charm."
Publishers Weekly

"Hoffman has a good ear for dialogue, and Teddie and her friends are realistic, appealing characters. Perfect for fans of family-centered women’s fiction, this book will have special appeal to readers interested in antiques and 'shabby chic' style."
Booklist


Praise for Saving CeeCee Honeycutt:

“Anyone in need of a Southern-girl-power fix will find [Saving CeeCee Honeycutt] engaging.”
People

“A peach of a novel.”
Ladies’ Home Journal

“SAVING CEECEE HONEYCUTT is an absolutely delightful debut novel packed full of Southern charm, strong women, wacky humor, and good old-fashioned heart. From the moment you first step into young CeeCee's unique world, you'll never want to leave.”
Kristin Hannah, bestselling author of Home Front and Night Road

“This book unfolds like a lush southern garden, blooming with vivid characters, beauty, and surprises.”
Kim Edwards, bestselling author of The Memory Keeper’s Daughter

“I barely stopped laughing, even as my heart broke and broke again for CeeCee . . . Beth Hoffman has written her heart out in this novel that will clearly be the first of many.”
Luanne Rice, bestselling author of Little Night and The Silver Boat

“Charming, disarming, sweet as the scent of magnolias on a Southern summer night.”
Mary Kay Andrews, bestselling author of Summer Rental and Spring Fever

“A Southern charmer.”
Publishers Weekly

“Exemplifying Southern storytelling at its best, this coming-of-age novel is sure to be a hit with the book clubs that adopted Sue Monk Kidd’s The Secret Life of Bees.”
Library Journal (starred review)

About the Author

Beth Hoffman was the president and co-owner of an interior design studio in Cincinnati before becoming a full-time writer. Looking for Me is her second novel. Her debut, Saving CeeCee Honeycutt, was a New York Times bestseller in hardcover and paperback. She lives with her husband and two cats in northern Kentucky.

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Most helpful customer reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By Jhuzen Ketsugo TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
Absolutely astoundingly good writing, so deceptively delicate yet so emotional impactful. I wasn't entirely sure what I was getting into when I started reading Looking For Me by Beth Hoffman, but I am so glad I got in but good. This novel has so much going for it, I don't know where to start.

The story of Teddi Overman, from her earliest years to adulthood, and a bit beyond, a story of a woman who is smart and strong and driven, but still tied deeply to her family's roots in rural Kentucky. Though driven from an early age to follow her passion for restoring and finishing furniture and antiques, she is haunted by a family tragedy, a mystery that changes her life and her family forever.

A story with small joys and precious moments, sadness and misunderstandings, and a chance to claim a life for herself if she is willing to reach for it, Teddi is a narrator that it is impossible to dislike. She is so very human, and so very real and grounded, yet she still believes in the magic and wonder of the world.

I thoroughly enjoyed this novel, and give full credit to Beth Hoffman's masterful crafting of a well paced story full of people you feel you already know so well, and many you just wish you could meet. I highly recommend this novel to those who love to read with passion, and those that still love to be surprised by what a book can do for your heart -- how it can make it ache and how it can make you whole at the same time.

**This review is based on a copy received via a Goodreads, First Reads giveaway. The honest opinions and comments expressed are my own and are in no way influenced by Goodreads, The Publisher, or the Author.**
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heartwarming storyline July 19 2013
By MEG
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Well written and with a lovely story. Not your typical cookie cutter plot.
Sad but heartwarming.
A very quick read - partly because you don't want to put it down.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful!! May 30 2013
By Louise Jolly TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
Story Description:

Viking USA|May 28, 2013|Hardcover|ISBN: 978-0-670-02583-1

A Southern novel of family and antiques from the bestselling author of the beloved Saving CeeCee Honeycutt.

Beth Hoffman's bestselling debut, Saving CeeCee Honeycutt, won admirers and acclaim with its heartwarming story and cast of unforgettable characters. Now her unique flair for evocative settings and richly drawn Southern personalities shines in her compelling new novel, Looking for Me.

Teddi Overman found her life' passion for furniture in a broken-down chair left on the side of the road in rural Kentucky. She learns to turn other people's castoffs into beautifully restored antiques, and eventually finds a way to open her own shop in Charleston. There, Teddi builds a life for herself as unexpected and quirky as the customers who visit her shop. Though Teddi is surrounded by remarkable friends and finds love in the most surprising way, nothing can alleviate the haunting uncertainty she's felt in the years since her brother Josh's mysterious disappearance. When signs emerge that Josh might still be alive, Teddi is drawn home to Kentucky. It's a journey that could help her come to terms with her shattered family and to find herself at last. But first she must decide what to let go of and what to keep.

Looking for Me brilliantly melds together themes of family, hope, loss, and a mature once-in-a-lifetime kind of love. The result is a tremendously moving story that is destined to make bestselling author Beth Hoffman a novelist to whom readers will return again and again as they have with Adriana Trigiani, Fannie Flagg, and Joshilyn Jackson.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning! Sept. 26 2013
By Lydia - Novel Escapes TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Kindle Edition
Only Beth Hoffman can make me shed tears within the first thirty pages or so of a novel. She did it with Saving Cee Cee Honeycutt, and she’s done it again with Looking For Me. And the beginning wasn't the only time my eyes leaked during this fantastic, definitely top-5-of-the-year reads.

Hoffman is a word wizard. Her prose is truly simple, yet so lyrical. The end result is an effortless read, with an extraordinary impact. Many times I re-read sentences in utter wonder. Vivid and unforgettable in prose, plot and character, Looking For Me will not be easily forgotten.

"Never tie your happiness to the end of someone else's kite." I cannot tell you how much I adore this line. And it's just one of many incredible words Hoffman has strung together to weave this fabulous tale.

Looking For Me combines so much of what I love in life - and a novel - from nature, to antiques, to complicated family dynamics and a relatable, down-to-earth, woman who has some growth to do. I adored Teddi Overman. I wish she lived near me. I wish she was real. I wanted to walk into her shop. Yes, this book felt incredibly real. I felt present when I read this novel and wanted to wander into the lives of these characters and have a glass of wine.

This novel is not an explosive read, but rather bobs along gently with flashbacks and present day story. It is done so well that I barely noticed when we had flipped into a reverie. I loved the ‘leg up’ and ‘pay it forward’ theme and really appreciated that it is subtly done and not a knock you over the head kind of lesson.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars  365 reviews
60 of 60 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely story June 9 2013
By VRWC - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
First, I was NOT given the book for an "honest review". I have been plagued with too many duds as it is becoming harder and harder to sift through the Amazon reviews. The background story is well presented in the previous reviews so I will just say this is the best story I have read in a long time. It's not often that I hang onto every word, savoring the story as it unfolds. The author is absolutely wonderful with the descriptive, written word. She balanced the story-telling, in both the past and present, masterfully. As readers, we are very subjective in what we enjoy and what we don't but I cannot over-emphasize how much I enjoyed reading this story. Some reviewers have commented on the likelihood of the storyline involving the brother but I was pleasantly surprised that it didn't read as questionable to me. The multiple story lines converged nicely, no bad language and the descriptions the author used enabled me to envision that I was right there along side of the characters. That's my definition of a good book.
32 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Repairing The Broken, And Loving The Lost May 28 2013
By Words In Purple - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Looking For Me is the new Novel by Beth Hoffman. It is the follow up to her bestseller Saving Cee Cee Honeycutt. I was completely smitten with Cee Cee. Many of the characters sprinkled throughout this phenomenal debut novel, still live in my heart.
Having said that, Looking For Me is better. It's also different. It drills down deep into a multi-layered, complex story, one that unfolds in non-linear layers, the way our dreams sit alongside our memories, but each chapter places you perfectly along the arc of the tale being told.
Looking For Me is the story of a broken family, each one carrying a scar. At the center of the story is a brother and sister, Teddi and Josh. Teddi's passion is antiques. She sees the beauty in things that are broken, and forgotten. This drives the way she sees the world. Especially, her brother Josh.
Josh holds a connection and communion with nature and animals that no one can explain. At one point, Teddi asks him about it and he calls it an "Awakening." Josh is between the worlds, the one that everyone else sees and the world only he can see. He lives in the silence between the whispers.
From the moment Josh was first brought home from the hospital, Teddi's saw him as a gift. That never changed. She treasured him and always sought to protect him. However, like everyone else she didn't fully understand him, even though she was in awe of him.
The story hinges on one day. Thanksgiving. It began with a fallen feather, and a message. It ends with violence, and a family that would never return to the innocence of that morning. At the end of that night's events, Josh disappears into the woods and never returns.
Teddi opens her own shop, and as she repairs the gouges in her furniture she struggles to fill the gouge in her heart by Josh's disappearance.
Looking For Me is a book of journeys. In its depth, it also carries great shimmer. It is populated with quirky southern inhabitants that takes the tension off the line. My personal favorite is Roxy, a tractor riding chicken.
If you loved Cee Cee, you will love this. Just expect more.
23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Captivating and Unforgettable Novel! May 28 2013
By Stephanie Ward - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
'Looking For Me' is a beautifully written novel that weaves the power of family and a love of antiques in the Southern U.S. The story revolves around the leading character of Teddi Overman as she finds beauty in other people's cast off furniture, turning junk into priceless treasures that other people can appreciate. She carves out a nice niche for herself and her shop in Charleston, meeting interesting customers and making great friends along the way. After learning that her brother, Josh, might still be alive after years of searching, Teddi decides to make the trip home to Kentucky. While there, Teddi must learn what to hold on to and what to let go, as well as coming to terms with her family and with herself.

This was a captivating story that deals with several important topics, but was told in a lyrical and uplifting way. The book deals with family, love, loss, finding yourself, and the mysterious ways that life can impact us when we least expect it. The characters were very well rounded and had unique personalities and quirks that made each one unforgettable for the reader. The setting, both in Charleston and in Kentucky, is told in vivid detail and rich descriptions - so much that I could easily imagine myself beside Teddi throughout the novel. The beauty of this book comes from the intricate details, personal insights, and imaginative voices of the people within. It speaks volumes about the true nature of people and how we all deal with tough issues in life. It's easy to reflect on our own lives after reading about Teddi and her journey home in Kentucky, and I relished each moment that the author gave us in the book. The writing was superb and shows the intelligence and immense talent that has made the author a bestseller. Highly recommended for fans of contemporary fiction, literary fiction, and women's fiction; or for those that just enjoy a wonderful story set in the beauty of the South.

Disclosure: I received a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth the wait! May 28 2013
By Carrie Kitzmiller - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
Back in the summer of 2010, I read and reviewed Beth Hoffman's Saving CeeCee Honeycutt, saying, "I will be eagerly anticipating the next story to come from her lovely imagination." I had no idea that it would take almost three years to see what Beth's next story would be, but I am so very happy to say that it was worth the wait.

I have had several authors read and comment on my blog - usually when I have just read and reviewed their book, or when they have a book about to come out. Beth is one of the only authors who continued to read and comment on my blog during all those long years between books, and I have come to appreciate her kind spirit and lovely words. Of course, that made agreeing to review her latest book a bit of a sticky proposition: what if I didn't like it? I'm so glad that my fears were completely unfounded.

Teddi is one of those characters that I simply loved. Her relationship with her brother Josh especially touched me, as I've always wondered what it would be like to have a brother. (I have three amazing sisters.) Josh is a unique character; he is a bit other-worldly, something even those around him notice and acknowledge. His connection to the land of Kentucky, where Teddi and he grew up, is so strong that he is completely bound to that piece of the earth, and to its creatures.

During the course of the book, Teddi comes to some realizations about herself, her relationship with her mother, and the disappearance of her brother. Her journey is so real, and each character who walks alongside her is a joy as well. The characters breathed their existence onto the pages, showing me who they were and helping to reveal who Teddi was. While Beth is as good as ever at writing setting, it is the people of Looking for Me who had me turning page after page, not wanting to stop. As I read, I was reminded of the work of two of my favorite authors of women's fiction: Marisa de los Santos and Joshilyn Jackson. I can only hope that we don't have to wait another three years for Beth's next story.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed April 28 2014
By Cheryl Lynn - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
I want to preface this by saying I read "Saving CeeCee Hunnicutt" by this author and absolutely loved it. I searched for other books written by Beth Hoffman. I was excited to read it. This book contained 'scenes' of animal abuse which I can't handle. If you're ok reading about this topic, you might actually give this a higher review. I enjoyed the main character's occupation of restoring and selling antiques, but I didn't feel connected in any way. I also felt the book jumped back and forth in time too much, one time going back in time, then going further back and then to present. This author was able to make me connect in "Saving Cee Cee". Needless to say, I would read another book by this author.
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